The Agreement Reached in the Multi-Party Negotiations (Good Friday Agreement or Belfast Agreement)

Country/entity
Ireland
United Kingdom
Northern Ireland
Region
Europe and Eurasia
Agreement name
The Agreement Reached in the Multi-Party Negotiations (Good Friday Agreement or Belfast Agreement)
Date
10/04/1998
Agreement status
Multiparty signed/agreed
Agreement/conflict level
Intrastate/intrastate conflict (Northern Ireland Conflict (1968 - 1998)
Commonly referred to as ‘the Troubles’, the most recent conflict over the territory of Northern Ireland can be framed as beginning in 1968 and ending with the Belfast Agreement (also known as the Good Friday Agreement) in 1998. While the genesis of the conflict was closely related to pressures for the state to reform with relation to discrimination against the (minority) Catholic population, the core issue of the conflict as it proceeded was the constitutional status of Northern Ireland, which was contested between the unionist/loyalist (mostly Protestant) majority, who wanted the territory to remain as part of the United Kingdom, and the nationalist/republican (mostly Catholic) minority, whose goal was to unite the six provincial counties with the Republic of Ireland. The thirty years prior to the Belfast or Good Friday Agreement were marked by inter-communal violence, active paramilitary groups, and the deployment of the British army in the province. Mediation by international actors, and dialogue between the British and Irish governments, and between the IRA and its representatives and the British Government eventually resulted in a ceasefire respected by the majority of combatants. Talks led to the Belfast or Good Friday Agreement which established a power-sharing system of governance between nationalist and unionist communities.
Northern Ireland Conflict (1968 - 1998) )
Stage
Framework/substantive - comprehensive (Agreement)
Conflict nature
Government/territory
Peace process
68: Northern Ireland peace process
Parties
Agreement not signed, but parties understood to be APNI, NIWC, Sinn Fein, UUP, NI Labour Coalition, UDP, PUP, SDLP, Irish Government, United Kingdom Government
Third parties
Description
Three strand agreement dealing with the establishment of internal institutions, North/South institutions and East/West institutions. Sets out specific obligations. British/Irish treaty annexed to agreement. Negotiated as if binding quality. The agreement aimed to set up a nationalist and unionist political power-sharing in Northern Ireland. On the constitutional question, it was agreed that there would be no change and that Northern Ireland would remain part of the UK, only the principle of consent of the majority of people in Northern Ireland could change this.

Agreement document
UK_IE_980410_The Agreement Reached in Multi-Party Negotiations (Good Friday Agreement or Belfast Agreement).pdf

Main category
Page 18, Rights, Safeguard and Equality of Opportunity, Human Rights, 1.
The parties affirm their commitment to the mutual respect, the civil rights and the religious liberties of everyone in the community. Against the background of the recent history of communal conflict, the parties affirm in particular:...
- the right to equal opportunity in all social and economic activity, regardless of class, creed, disability, gender or ethnicity;...
- the right of women to full and equal political participation.

Page 18, Rights, Safeguard and Equality of Opportunity, United Kingdom Legislation, 3.
Subject to the outcome of public consultation underway, the British Government intends, as a particular priority, to create a statutory obligation on public authorities in Northern Ireland to carry out all their functions with due regard to the need to promote equality of opportunity in relation to religion and political opinion; gender; race; disability; age; marital status; dependants; and sexual orientation...

Page 20, Economic, Social and Cultural Issues, 1.
Pending the devolution of powers to a new Northern Ireland Assembly, the British Government will pursue broad policies for sustained economic growth and stability in Northern Ireland and for promoting social inclusion, including in particular community development and the advancement of women in public life.

Women, girls and gender

Participation
Effective participation
Page 18, Rights, Safeguard and Equality of Opportunity, Human Rights, 1.
The parties affirm their commitment to the mutual respect, the civil rights and the religious liberties of everyone in the community. Against the background of the recent history of communal conflict, the parties affirm in particular:...
- the right of women to full and equal political participation.
Equality
Equality (general)
Page 18, Rights, Safeguard and Equality of Opportunity, United Kingdom Legislation, 3.
Subject to the outcome of public consultation underway, the British Government intends, as a particular priority, to create a statutory obligation on public authorities in Northern Ireland to carry out all their functions with due regard to the need to promote equality of opportunity in relation to religion and political opinion; gender; race; disability; age; marital status; dependants; and sexual orientation...
Social equality
Page 18, Rights, Safeguard and Equality of Opportunity, Human Rights, 1.
The parties affirm their commitment to the mutual respect, the civil rights and the religious liberties of everyone in the community. Against the background of the recent history of communal conflict, the parties affirm in particular:...
- the right to equal opportunity in all social and economic activity, regardless of class, creed, disability, gender or ethnicity;...

Page 20, Economic, Social and Cultural Issues, 1.
Pending the devolution of powers to a new Northern Ireland Assembly, the British Government will pursue broad policies for sustained economic growth and stability in Northern Ireland and for promoting social inclusion, including in particular community development and the advancement of women in public life.

Particular groups of women
No specific mention.
International law
No specific mention.
New institutions
No specific mention.
Violence against women
No specific mention.
Transitional justice
No specific mention.
Institutional reform
No specific mention.
Development
General
Page 20, Economic, Social and Cultural Issues, 1
Pending the devolution of powers to a new Northern Ireland Assembly, the British Government will pursue broad policies for sustained economic growth and stability in Northern Ireland and for promoting social inclusion, including in particular community development and the advancement of women in public life.
Implementation
No specific mention.
Other
No specific mention.

The University of Edinburgh